Is it correct to say "to put down a downpayment"?

Or should it be "to put down a payment"? But that doesn't really emphasize that it's a downpayment it could be a payment of any sort.

Or maybe just say "to pay the downpayment"?

I would have thought that it's the first way but it somehow seems a bit odd...

  • 2
    You put/place/make a downpayment on a house/land/other: "Guess what? We put a downpayment on a house today!" May 21 '14 at 0:54
  • So "put a downpayment on blah blah blah" not "put down a downpayment on blah blah blah"
    – Mou某
    May 21 '14 at 0:55
  • 1
    Yes, that's how we say it in AmE. May 21 '14 at 1:31
  • We also sometimes say, "We put down money on a house today."
    – Jim
    May 21 '14 at 1:52

The most common phrase, in my experience, is make a down payment.

Google N-Gram showing that "make a down payment" is the commonest form

  • @ntomlin1996 Thanks for adding the graph.
    – GMB
    May 21 '14 at 15:45

How about simply saying pay down?

pay down: to pay (part of the total price) at the time of purchase, with the promise to pay the balance on time (on installments).

down payment: a partial payment made at the time of purchase, with the balance to be paid later.

  • Pay down? Really?
    – Mou某
    May 21 '14 at 0:51
  • @user3306356 Yes, really!
    – Elian
    May 21 '14 at 0:56
  • 1
    I think this is not what OP is after, since one does not say I payed down a house when they have put money down on one. They might say they've paid down their house after having made loan payments for many years.
    – Jim
    May 21 '14 at 2:33
  • 1
    The OP specified that he was talking about a down payment. "Paying (something) down" is not the same as making a down payment, and is not nearly interchangeable. Indeed, as the OP states, paying down "could be a payment of any sort", as long as it does not completely eliminate the debt.
    – Hellion
    May 21 '14 at 2:50
  • 1
    The point is, if you don't split it in that precise way, it doesn't mean the same thing. "I paid down a car" is not a suitable replacement at all for "I made a down payment on a car". So if you're going to suggest it, you need to clarify how it must be used in order to fit his desired meaning.
    – Hellion
    May 21 '14 at 3:56

It's not incorrect to say 'put down a downpayment' but it has high redundancy, and make a downpayment is more usual.

You could also say 'put a downpayment on (something)' or 'put a payment down on (something)' and they mean the same due to the presence of 'down'.

The OED quotes Dickens: 'Dickens Mut. Fr. i. iv, I suppose a memorandum between us of two or three lines, and a payment down, will bind the bargain.'

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